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Casas, Mel, 1929-



Mel Casas (1929-2014) received a BA from Texas Western College (University of Texas at El Paso) and an MFA from Universidad de las Américas in Mexico City. Mel is considered one of the most important founders of the Chicano Arts Movement. He was president of the “Con Safo group” in the 1970s. As a civil rights activist, he wrote the Brown Paper Report which is an important document in Chicano History, that emphasized the importance of achieving social equality for Chicanos. As an artist, he is best known for his 150 large scale paintings called "Humanscapes". He created a wide array of works over his career and his paintings are held in national and international collections.

Smithsonian Archives of American Art, interview with Mel Casas:

Sources: Mel Casas, AKA ”Casas”,, accessed May 14th, 2020.

Peoplepill, Mel Casas biography,, accessed May 14th, 2020.

Zech Branson, Learn about the Art of Mel Casas in San Antonio,, accessed May, 14th, 2020.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Mel Casas papers

Identifier: AAA 5448
Dates: 1963-1998
Scope and Contents

The papers of painter and educator Mel Casas measure 1.0 linear feet and date from 1963 to 1998. The collection is comprised of biographical materials that include files on the art collective Con Safo, correspondence regarding business and exhibitions, writings by Casas on Chicano art and by others, printed materials, and photographic materials containing photographs and slides of Casas and others, his artwork, and an exhibition.